A handful of Democratic lawmakers are pushing forward with a controversial plan to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with four additional justices.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), however, has made it clear that she is not on board.
“An idea that should be considered”
As The Hill reported on Thursday, the Democratic Party leader distanced herself from the bill that would expand the nation’s highest court from its current nine justices to 13, telling reporters that she had “no plans” to bring the matter up for a vote.
When asked whether she would get behind the proposed legislation, Pelosi declared that she would not, instead noting that she favored waiting for the recommendations of a commission recently enacted by President Joe Biden to research the matter.
“I support the president’s commission to study such a proposal, but frankly I’m not — right now, we’re back, our members, our committees are working,” she said. “We’re putting together the infrastructure bill and the rest.”
Explaining that she does not know whether court-packing is “a good idea or a bad idea,” Pelosi described the proposal as “an idea that should be considered” and applauded Biden’s approach to task a bipartisan panel with considering its impact.
“It’s a big step,” she said.
“It’s out of balance”
Nevertheless, Pelosi conceded that packing the court is “not out of the question” and declared that it “has been done before in the history of our country, a long time ago.”
She went on to help make the Democrats’ case by suggesting that “the growth of our country, the size of our country, the growth of our challenges in terms of the economy, et cetera, might necessitate such a thing.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) are spearheading the push on Capitol Hill, and both spoke publicly on the matter this week.
“We are here today because the United States Supreme Court is broken, it is out of balance and it needs to be fixed,” Markey said on Thursday, according to Fox News. “It is out of balance. It needs to be fixed.”
For his part, Biden’s current willingness to consider the issue stands in stark contrast to his remarks nearly 40 years ago, at which time the then-senator called a previous effort a “bonehead idea.”